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Australia supports Philippines flood relief efforts
The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator Bob Carr, has announced Australia will assist Filipinos who have been affected by severe flooding in Metro Manila and surrounding areas by making available up to Php88 million (A$2 million) in food and emergency supplies, to be delivered through the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and the World Food Programme (WFP).
As part of its disaster preparedness program in the Philippines, Australia works with partners to pre-position emergency supplies, which enables a rapid response to natural disasters and emergencies.
The Australian Government has provided Php44 million (A$1 million) for emergency kits for distribution to families which include medical supplies, mosquito nets and water containers, and another Php44 million (A$1 million) for 1000 tonnes of rice.
Senator Carr expressed his particular concern for those families who had been without a home for up to two weeks. “We’re providing $1 million to WFP and we’re backing that up with nearly $1 million made available to the Red Cross for those in need,” he said.
“The Australian Government has made these items available through the PRC and WFP so that they can be immediately accessed in serious humanitarian situations, such as the current flooding in and around the capital,” Australian Ambassador to the Philippines, Bill Tweddell said.
“We know that prompt response is essential to saving lives during disasters. Australia, through our arrangements with the Philippine Red Cross and WFP, is able to assist the Philippine Government to respond quickly and effectively.”
Officials of the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) visited flood-affected areas this week. They have been working closely with the Philippine Government and other donors to ensure the Philippines has the support it needs to manage the crisis.
“We commend the Philippine Government for its quick response, including widespread search and rescue operations for those stranded by floods and buried by landslides,” Ambassador Tweddell said.
Over the past seven years, Australia has provided more than Php760 million in humanitarian and emergency aid to the Philippines. Australia works closely with the Government and other partners to manage disasters and to help people adapt to climate change.
Australia’s program has a focus on Metro Manila and supports hazard and risk analysis, risk-sensitive land use planning, community-based disaster preparedness, capacity building on urban search and rescue, and providing safer settlements for those living in danger areas.
Australia and the Philippines have a strong relationship, underpinned by over 50 years of partnership in development cooperation. The aid partnership with the Philippines is one of Australia’s largest, with more than Php20 billion in official development assistance in the past five years. Australia’s current annual aid to the Philippines is estimated at Php5.5 billion – placing Australia among the top grant donors to the Philippines.
For more information about AusAID’s work on humanitarian and disaster response in the Philippines, visit this page.